Category: Gossip

Gossip – Arkansas Heat

ARTIST: Gossip                                            220px-thegossip-arkansas_heat

TITLE:  Arkansas Heat

YEAR RELEASED: 2002

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Prolly not.

LINEUP: Beth Ditto, Brace Paine, Kathy Mendonca

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: An EP that moves the band from total noisy clatter to a more polished outfit.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The six songs on this EP are a bit of a transition for the band. Brace Paine can still raise a ruckus with his guitar, and Kathy Mendonca’s drumming isn’t exactly subtle, but the songs are coming through nice and clear now.

Beth Ditto’s vocals demand to be heard above the grind – they’re compelling and powerful. The only flaw is the final track – at over 10 minutes it starts slowly and outlasts its welcome. But the first five are good enough for any fan of garage rock fun.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Brace Paine was still known as Nathan Howdeshell at this time.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B:  Good tracks, but the last cut brings it down.

Gossip – Movement

ARTIST: Gossip                              220px-thegossip-movement

TITLE:  Movement

YEAR RELEASED: 2003

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Maybe not

LINEUP: Beth Ditto, Brace Paine, Kathy Mendonca

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second full length album sands off the rough edges and makes for a more powerful record.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s not that rough edges aren’t great in rock-and-roll – they are for sure. However, Gossip’s move away from full-on raggedness to a more polished sound is great as it highlights Beth Ditto’s voice even more.

The songwriting here is more varied as well, from the powerful “Nite” to the up-and-at-em “Jason’s Basement” and “Don’t Make Waves”, this record smokes at just the right time. “Yesterdays News” goes from slow meditation to perfect stomper.

There are a couple of misses, especially the final cut which wears out its welcome in no time. Still, a fine record to own – simple rock with a powerful voice.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They had an EP between full-length album one and two, which I’ll review later.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: A-: Thoroughly enjoyable on 10 of 11 tracks.

Gossip – That’s Not What I Heard

ARTIST: Gossip 220px-TheGossip-That's_Not_What_I_Heard
TITLE: That’s Not What I Heard
YEAR RELEASED: 2001
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Just Kill Rock Star label fanatics, no doubt, have heard this.
LINEUP: Beth Ditto, Brace Paine, Kathy Mendonca
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Original garage punk album from the now-popular (in the UK) trio.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Rough, raw, ragged and raucous. Those are the words that come into mind when hearing Gossip’s debut. Ditto was already a force in her vocals, proudly stating her world-view as loudly and boldly as possible.

This record got them lumped into the same area code as the early White Stripes, which I can hear a little bit of. It’s true that both bands use stripped down instrumentation to make their clatter – but Gossip’s songs are more direct and less varied, at least on this record.

After a while, the songs blur and whir together which kind of lessens their impact. Ditto and crew don’t really have much of a change-up – fastballs all the way.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They had an earlier EP on K records, which was even rawer.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B-: There’s some hot cuts, but it wore on me after a while.